Skip to comments.Yard Signs Tell the Tale in New Hampshire (Barack Obama is in big trouble next November.)
Posted on 01/05/2012 6:55:04 AM PST by Kaslin
Drive through New Hampshire in the next week, and you will see a staggering number of Republican yard signs. Theyre everywhere: It seems like every third house has a sign up. Theyre on front yards and in the windows of businesses. Theyre in every neighborhood representing every demographic. Theyre in front of homes along rural roadways, in front of suburban homes in the big southern towns, and in the conservative blue-collar neighborhoods of Manchester.
And there are even Republican yard signs all over the capital city of Concord — a largely Democratic-leaning town in this swing state.
Barack Obama is in big trouble next November.
In elections, yard signs provide the essential social proof to back up the television ads, debate performances, and stump speeches — especially when it comes time to close the deal with relatively apolitical or undecided voters.
But this is a Republican primary. What do January yard signs have to do with Barack Obama?
Here is a secret: If you want to predict a general election, count the number of Republican yard signs in purple neighborhoods.
Take a drive through an upper-middle class community in a swing state. Find the subdivision where theres a coffee shop on the corner and an organic grocery store not too far away, ideally where the Priuses outnumber the SUVs but not by much. Find the block where the adults are academics, professionals, or government employees and where every household has a couple of kids in the public schools. The voter breakdown in the ideal purple neighborhood is about a third Republican, a third Democrat, and a third independent.
Welcome to Concord, New Hampshire. Or Fort Collins, Colorado. Or northern Virginia. Or Raleigh, North Carolina. Or the suburbs and exurbs and small cities in swing states around the country.
Now count the Republican yard signs. Signs are not polling data, and they are certainly not election returns, but a yard sign is a definitive measure of three things: Support (obviously); intensity; and – most importantly — a voters willingness to make his political opinions known to his neighbors. A yard sign — especially in a hostile environment — is a symbol of political courage, a sign of an impending shift in public opinion.
The early returns from the yard sign tallies are in: Voters in New Hampshire want their neighbors to know that they are voting Republican this year.
That is a big deal. If you live in a conservative community in a Republican state, it is hard to understand the open hostility towards Republicans in purple neighborhoods. Put up a sign in your yard and prepare to have your neighbors approach (or accost) you at the grocery store. Prepare to have them bring your kids into the discussion. Prepare to have your business boycotted. There is no separation between the personal and the political on the left, so in a swing state a sign in your yard marks you as a target.
We saw this effect in 2006. My postmortem on the 2006 election debacle was titled Cocktail Parties and Yard Signs. It focused on the small city of Fort Collins, Colorado, a college town of about 130,000 people. The city leans Democrat, the county leans Republican. The state is a battleground. The thesis was simple: Republicans in Fort Collins were embarrassed — almost afraid — to put Republican signs up in their front yards.
The cocktail parties part of the title refers to how fast Republicans will disavow their own nominee in non-political settings. Go to a cocktail party and listen for the telltale phrase Im a registered Republican, but Even worse, listen to someone who you know to be a staunch conservative Republican describe themselves as an independent who votes for the person more than the party.
The Cocktail Parties and Yard Signs effect means that the pressure from the left has won. It means that a certain level it is no longer socially acceptable to be a Republican. Republican candidates do not have a chance in that climate.
Actually, we all experienced a similar form of pressure in 2008 on Facebook. When I describe Facebook to political clients, I describe it simply as a front porch in a tightly-knit neighborhood. Social media provides limitless opportunity for word-of-mouth campaigning, but like in the real world, when you put a sign out, you are going to hear from your neighbors. On Facebook, the only candidate on the ballot in 2008 was Barack Obama, and we all heard from our friends, relatives, and long-lost high-school buddies about Hope and Change. Thats the dynamic every cycle in purple neighborhoods.
Which brings us back to New Hampshire.
New Hampshire is a purple state. Twenty years ago it was one of the most Republican states in the country, but Bill Clinton (twice), John Kerry, and Obama all carried the state in general elections. The Republicans lost the governorship in 1996, and the Democrats made relatively consistent gains over the following decade. After the 2006 election, Democrats held both Congressional seats, the governorship, and both houses in the legislature (for the first time since 1911). The 2010 election saw the pendulum swing decisively back to the Republicans, but no one was sure if that would translate beyond 2010 and into the presidential race.
Today there are Republican signs up all over New Hampshire. Most tellingly, there are Republican signs up throughout the city of Concord — more than I have ever seen. It is safe to tell your neighbors that you are voting Republican.
Barack Obama is in big trouble.
Interesting post, thanks.
Better off to just stay home....who wants to be around a bunch of imbeciles anyway....
It has been said that you should never ask a person about their political ideology because if they are conservative you will figure it out and if they are liberal you run the risk of embarrassing them publicly.
If I ever hear some left wing screw ball I never back away but they do once I speak up against them.
They’re used to people shutting up and agreeing with them but once you question them , give them some facts they look like deers in the headlights.
Whether it be homosexual marriage to the debt to the dumb ass in the white house
Anecdotal evidence is meaningless, as is poll data this far out.
All the more reason Hussein is gearing up for as many frauds votes as possible and there won’t be enough of us to couteract this (already posted here.
Probe reveals feds pressuring agents to rush immigrant visas even if fraud is feared..
Good, and I'm sure that it makes you feel better, but it's still a waste of oxygen.
Liberalism is a religion. Might as well try to debate theology with the Pope.
That is one way of spreading the Right Word.
Another way is to have a tactful chat centered on the Right’s obligation to proclaim “Game ON!”
BTW, if the left misbehaves, just point out to them that “truth is always painful to those who live in denial. “ They own the problem, not you.
One woman used to always come down to the kids soccer games harping on about who is a Nazi etc.
Screw that I confronted the big mouth and gave her facts, and questions right in front of her usual crowd.
Not once since then has she opened her big trap and since then I’ve had people come up to me and tell me thank you for shutting her up, thank you for facing her and giving her info of which they had no clue because the facts I gave were not what were being given from the MSM of which they watch
shutting up is what the left wants, speaking up against them and facing them is what they hate.
The more speak up the more the left will be exposed
Not really. I do not expect to convert the committed leftist/progressive. There are plenty of uncommitted listeners, however.
Oh Lordy, I hope so.
“Barack Obama is in big trouble.”...
The media is hiding the disaster if front of our eyes....We see it...we know it...Stick a fork in it, Obango is done!
Unless there are bunches of Hillary signs out I would
not jump to that conclusion.
That statement reminds me of this...
Very true stuff.
At the moment, we are being invaded by the Media Hoard as well as by the candidates themselves, as we are every four years at this time. Satellite trucks from Boston, New York and beyond are setting up in Manchester and Concord.
We pretend not to like all the attention, but trust me, we do. Personally, I'm looking forward to the first time a mobile cam comes up to me for a "Man-In-The Street" interview - it happens at least once every primary season. I'm going to tell him two things: 1. I haven't made up my mind who to vote for yet, and 2. I'd vote for my dog over Barack Obama because the dog only lifts his leg on my fruit trees, not on the whole damn country.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.